Elizabethan Fictions (Oxford English Monographs Series): Espionage, Counter-Espionage and the Duplicity of Fiction in Early Elizabethan Prose Narratives

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Elizabethan Fictions is a study of the works of John Lyly, George Gascoigne, Geoffrey Fenton, William Baldwin, and a number of other English writers in the context of changing attitudes to fiction in Elizabethan England. Both the censors and the writers of the time were aware that the developments in Elizabethan prose threatened to transform the nature of fiction itself, and it was felt that these destructive capabilities might constitute a material threat to the security of the Elizabethan state. Maslen explores their violations of current conventions, their mockery of contemporary platitudes, their self-conscious stylishness, and their subtlety, and makes the case for these fictions to be seen as the precursors of Shakespeare's comedies, Sidney's prose epics, and the satires of Marlowe and Nashe.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"[An] excellent book."—Choice
Maslen (English, U. of Glasgow) argues that English writers of prose fiction from the 1550s to the 1570s produced some of the most daringly innovative literature of the century. He examines William Baldwin's satirical fable "Beware the Cat", George Gascoigne's most romance "The Adventures of Master F. J.", John Lyle's popular "Euphues" books and other works, and finds them concerned with the secrets, lies, and petty treason of the contemporary ruling classes at a time when such topics were considered part of a continental Catholic plot. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198119913
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Series: Oxford English Monographs Series
  • Pages: 328
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

University of Glasgow
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Table of Contents

Introduction: Monstrous Imaginations
1. The Fiction of Simplicity in the Sixteenth-Century Treatise
2. Fictions and their Commentaries before 1570
3. George Gascoigne and the Fiction of Failure
4. George Pettie, Gender, and the Generation Gap
5. The Dissolution of Euphues
6. The Resolution of Euphues
Conclusion: Hideous Progeny

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